Music Theory Placement Exam for 2016

Dates, Times, and Locations

  • Online Music Theory Placement Exam, For all new music majors and minors, including freshmen, new majors, and transfer students attempting to test out of Music Fundamentals 1 and 2 and test into Theory I and Aural Skills I.
  • Monday, August 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Fox Fine Arts Center, Room M402. For graduate students and transfer students who have taken and passed some college-level music theory and aural skills (excluding Fundamentals 1 and 2)! We recommend that students have dinner before the exam.

Questions? Email Dr. Leinberger at CHARLESL@UTEP.EDU.

The new Music Advising Questionnaire is now available. Click here to begin the questionnaire for summer and fall 2017 music advising, as well as registration for the Music Theory Placement Exam!
   
This is a "Placement Exam."    

This exam has been designed to meet the needs of music students at several levels, from entering freshmen music majors to transfer students and graduate students. It is in the student’s best interest to be placed into the appropriate level of music theory studies.

It is our goal that you succeed at your music studies at UTEP. We want you to be placed into the classes that will benefit you the most. There is no advantage to being placed into a class that is too advanced, if you fail and fall behind in your degree plan. There is also no advantage to being placed into a class that you do not need.

This is a “placement exam.” It is designed to measure your knowledge and skills on a typical day. You should not cram for this exam. If you don’t know the answer to a question, skip it and move on to the next one. The more that can be determined about what you know and what you don’t know, the better the recommendation that can be made to your advisor.

After the exam, a recommendation will be sent to all music advisors, concerning in which courses a student should enroll. Students should meet with an advisor shortly after taking the exam.
   
Exam Scores: "Low," "Passing," and "High"

The exam is divided into several sections or "modules." Here is a list of scores each student must earn on the exam in order to test into the appropriate level of music theory and aural skills.
  • Music Fundamentals 1, MUST 1311: No Exam Required.
    Also, student who earn a Low score, less than 35%, on Music Theory Module 1 of the exam will be placed in Music Fundamentals 1.
  • Music Fundamentals 2, MUST 1312: Passing score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 35% on Music Theory Module 1 of the exam to be placed in Music Fundamentals 2.
  • Aural Skills I, MUST 1111, and Music Theory I, MUST 1313: High score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 70% on Music Theory Module 1 of the exam to be placed in Aural Skills I and Music Theory I.
  • Aural Skills II, MUST 1112, and Music Theory II, MUST 1314: High score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 70% on Music Theory Modules 1 and 2 (and selected Aural Skills modules) of the exam to be placed in Aural Skills II and Music Theory II.
  • Aural Skills III, MUST 2111, and Music Theory III, MUST 2313: High score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 70% on Music Theory Modules 1, 2, and 3 (and selected Aural Skills modules) of the exam to be placed in Aural Skills III and Music Theory III.
  • Aural Skills IV, MUST 2112, and Music Theory IV, MUST 2314: High score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 70% on Music Theory Modules 1, 2, 3, and 4 (and selected Aural Skills modules) of the exam to be placed in Aural Skills IV and Music Theory IV.
  • Music Theory V, MUST 3215 (Form and Analysis): High score.
    Students must earn a score of at least 70% on Music Theory Modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (and selected Aural Skills modules) of the exam to be placed in Music Theory V.
  • Undergraduate student can test out of Music Theory I through V, and Aural Skills I through IV by earning a High score on the entire exam.
  • Graduate students must earn a score of at least 80% on the entire exam to test out of MUST 5313, Survey of Music Theory.
This information is subject to change. This information was updated April 22, 2016.
   
After the exam...    

After the exam, results are sent to music advisors. Students should meet with an advisor as soon as possible. As the exam is designed to measure knowledge and skills on a typical day, there are no "re-takes" of the exam.
   
Recommended Study Materials    

It is recommended that students study the following texts, and that students be prepared to take the following types of dictation. After taking the exam, students will meet with an advisor to discuss their degree plan and begin scheduling their classes for the upcoming semester or summer session.
  • Students who have studied some music theory, and who wish to test out of Music Fundamentals and be placed in Music Theory I and Aural Skills I:
    • Theory Module 1:
      • Duckworth, A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals (All)
      • Writing out and identification of key signatures, scales, time signatures, intervals, triads (including inversions), and 7th chords (including inversions).
      • There is no dictation exam for students to test out of Music Fundamentals.
  • Students who have passed one semester of music theory and aural skills, and who wish to be placed in Music Theory II and Aural Skills II:
    • Theory Sections 1 and 2 (and Aural Skills Section 1):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 9
      • Scales, key signatures, triads, seventh chords, harmonic function, voice-leading, and part writing (SATB) including root-position and inverted triads.
      • Interval identification; chord identification including root-position triads, melodic dictation in simple meters and in major keys (diatonic), rhythmic dictation in simple meters
  • Students who have passed two semesters of music theory and aural skills, and who wish to be placed in Music Theory III and Aural Skills III:
    • Theory Sections 1, 2, and 3 (and Aural Skills Section 1):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 18
      • Chapter 1-9 (see topics for these chapters listed above), plus cadences, phrases, period forms, non-chord tones, part writing (SATB) including diatonic and some chromatic triads and seventh chords, and modulation to closely-related keys.
      • Interval identification; chord identification including root-position triads, melodic dictation in simple meters and in major & minor keys (diatonic), rhythmic dictation in simple & compound meters
  • Students who have passed three semesters of music theory and aural skills, and who wish to be placed in Music Theory IV and Aural Skills IV:
    • Theory Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4 (and Aural Skills Section 2):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 23
      • Chapters 1-18 (see topics for these chapters listed above), plus other modulation types, analysis & part-writing using other types of chromatic harmonies (Neapolitan, augmented-sixth, borrowed)
      • Interval identification, chord identification including inverted triads & root-position seventh chords, melodic & harmonic dictation in simple & compound meters and in major & minor keys (with diatonic & chromatic harmony), rhythmic dictation in simple & compound meters
  • Students who have passed four semesters of music theory and aural skills, and who wish to be placed in Music Theory V (Analytical Processes), Also for current students who wish to register for upper level music theory courses:
    • Theory Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (and Aural Skills Section 2):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 28 (see topics for these chapters listed above)
      • Chapters 1-23 (see topics for these chapters listed above), plus analysis of chromatic tonal passages (chords & implied keys), 20th-century scales (diatonic modes, major & minor pentatonic, whole-tone, and octatonic), altered & extended tertian harmony, non-tertian harmony, diatonic & chromatic planing, set theory analysis for three- or four-note sets (normal form, prime form, interval-class vector, inverted & transposed forms of a set)
      • Interval identification; chord identification including inverted triads & root-position seventh chords, melodic & harmonic dictation in simple & compound meters and in major & minor keys (with diatonic & chromatic harmony), rhythmic dictation in simple & compound meters including syncopation, 20th-century scale identification (diatonic modes, major & minor pentatonic, whole-tone, and octatonic)
  • Students who have passed five semesters of music theory and four semesters of aural skills, and who wish to be placed in Music Theory VI (Orchestration):
    • Theory Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (and Aural Skills Sections 2):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 28 (see topics for these chapters listed above)
      • Analysis involving large musical forms (sonata, rondo, theme and variations, etc.)
      • Interval identification; chord identification including inverted triads & root-position seventh chords, melodic & harmonic dictation in simple & compound meters and in major & minor keys (with diatonic & chromatic harmony), rhythmic dictation in simple & compound meters including syncopation, 20th-century scale identification (diatonic modes, major & minor pentatonic, whole-tone, and octatonic)
  • Graduate students who wish to be admitted to the graduate program:
    • Theory Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (and Aural Skills Sections 3):
      • Kostka, Payne, Almén: Tonal Harmony (7th edition), Chapters 1 through 28 (see topics for these chapters listed above)
      • Analysis involving large musical forms (sonata, rondo, theme and variations, etc.)
      • Interval identification; chord identification including inverted triads & root-position seventh chords, melodic & harmonic dictation in simple & compound meters and in major & minor keys (with diatonic & chromatic harmony), rhythmic dictation in simple & compound meters including syncopation, 20th-century scale identification (diatonic modes, major & minor pentatonic, whole-tone, and octatonic)
This information is subject to change.